Committee proposes new playground at LP Elementary

A natural playground utilizes the landscape and geography of whatever space it occupies. The cost to design and build a natural playground is estimated at $90,000 and offers five times more play space. It can be built all at once or in phases.

The volunteers at this week's meeting supported the concept of designing and building a natural playground.

The school board gave approval to the group, with President Dan Nardiello encouraging Kroes to continue pursuing options and reporting back to the board.

Board members Pat Grant and Phil Baumbach offered some suggestions to the committee going forward.

"If you're going to pursue the natural playground, I suggest you survey parents and teachers and students to make sure that's the route they want to go down," Grant said. "You don't want to get involved in the process and find out that others want to stick with a traditional playground."

Baumbach said the committee should also chat with maintenance crews to see what kind of time would go into upkeep of a natural playground.

Not all in attendance liked the idea of purchasing a new playground or expanding the current size.

Ruth Richards said after the meeting that expanding play space while enrollment is declining is a contradiction.

"Is it wise to increase playground size by 400 percent with enrollment going down?" she asked. "Is this an amusement park or a school?"

In any case, the planning is in the early stages, and members of the Lake Placid Elementary Playground Initiative will continue to seek input from residents and educators alike.

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